Reality Bites/

Hearing Silence (2010)


Eventually I had to leave my job in the orchestra. Being a deaf musician is a bit like being a blind surgeon.'
- Elizabeth Petcu, 2010

The ability to hear plays such a crucial role in making music that it's almost impossible to imagine how a professional musician feels when they've been diagnosed with a condition called Otosclerosis (progressive deafness). But that is exactly what flautist Elizabeth Petcu is bravely facing. Like Beethoven, Elizabeth is suffering conductive hearing loss where the bones of the ear fuse together preventing sound from entering and vibrating. Last year, after 25 years as principle flautist, Elizabeth had to leave her job in the RTE Orchestra.

This documentary lets the audience enter a world where sound plays a crucial but increasingly frustrating role and shows how this musician is dealing with the loss of a vital sense with strength and humour. This is a story of one woman's struggle to express her creativity through sound – despite her limited hearing – and her new relationship with silence.

Winner, Signal Film Festival 2012
Runner up, Irish Council of Civil Liberties Human Rights Film Awards 2011

Selected Other Screenings
Ziele Filmului Irlandez Bucharest, October 2011
Uppsala International Short Film Festival, September 2011
The Galway Film Fleadh, July 2011
The Seattle International Film Festival, June 2011.
The International Festival of Documentary Films Academia Film Olomouc, Czech Republic, April 2011
Dingle Film Festival, March 2011
Shebeen Flicks Dublin, March 2011,
Jameson International Dublin Film Festival, February 2011
Cork Film Festival, November 2010

Images Thumb
Production Company: Wildfire Films
tel: +353 1 6725553
web: www.wildfirefilms.net
Photography: Alan O'Connor
Director: Hilary Fennell
Editor: Mairead McIvor
Producer: Martha O'Neill
Running Time: 12 mins 15 seconds
Irish Locations: Bray, WicklowTownley Hall, DroghedaBloomfield Shopping Centre, Dun Laoghaire
Status: Completed
Financiers: Irish Film Board
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